fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Maryam Jamili" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2018 10:40:15 +0100
Subject: Re: About my granddaughter.
My name is Maryam Jamili. I write to you from Syria because I am in dire need of your help. As you must know, my city Aleppo where I have lived for years have been destroyed, including all my family. My granddaughter and I were saved by a miracle.
I want her to live a better life FAR AWAY from this madness and I need your help to make it happen. Fortunately, my husband managed to deposit our family life savings in a bank in USA, before the outbreak of the civil war here that claimed his life. As I am old and weak, I need someone I can trust to claim it and help my granddaughter start a new life, as she is all that is left of our happy family, please i plead with a broken heart that her safety is all that matters to me right now, as i am old and weak, bullets or bomb can hit us any time and it doesn't matter anymore, all i want is for my grandchild to leave this place and go far away and start a new life. I will be very happy to give you a reasonable percentage of this money if you can ensure a happy future for my granddaughter.
I will give you more details when you reply and indicate your acceptance to help me.
Many thanks to you in advance for everything.